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Poster: Moongleam Date: Aug 27, 2018 4:33pm
Forum: moviesandfilms Subject: For the record: Lost Honeymooners are p.d.

Each Honeymooners "lost episode" is merely a portion of one episode of The Jackie Gleason Show that was broadcast in the 1950s. (They vary in length from less than 10 minutes to more than 40 minutes.)

Films and television episodes released in the U.S.A. before 1964 had to have their copyrights renewed after 28 years. If the copyrights were not renewed, then they ceased to exist.

There are copyright renewals for episodes of The Red Skelton Show that were broadcast in the 1950s, but there are no copyright renewals for episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show that were broadcast in the 1950s.

Go to:
https://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local

Put the following in the search box:

red skelton show

Click on the "Begin Search" button.
Click on the first result.
You'll see:


Appleby's invention.
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: RE0000233100 / 1985-01-03
Renewal registration for: LP0000009076 / 1957-06-17
Title: Appleby's invention.
Series: The Red Skelton Show
Copyright Claimant: C B S, Inc. (PWH)

Names: CBS, Inc.


We see that the episode was registered for copyright in 1957 and that the copyright was renewed after 28 years.

Compare that with what happens when we search for "jackie gleason show".

Go to:
https://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local

Put the following in the search box:

jackie gleason show

Among the results no renewals are seen.

Resort results by: Date (ascending)

After this sort, any renewals would be the first things seen, but there are none to be found.

So it seems that all of the episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show that were broadcast in the 1950s are in the public domain.


Return to:

https://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local

Click on the following:

Search by: Keyword

In the "Search for:" box, type

honeymooners lost episode vacation landing

In the "Copyright Number" column, look for PA0000324569. (It will probably be in the second row.)

Click on the title in that row. You'll see:


The Honeymooners, the lost episodes : [episode ti.], Vacation/Fred's...
Relevance:
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: PA0000324569 / 1987-04-30
Title: The Honeymooners, the lost episodes : [episode ti.], Vacation/Fred's Landing / producer, Jack Hurdle ; director, Frank Satenstein.
Imprint: [S.l.] : J. Gleason, c1985.
Description: 1 videocassette : sd., b&w ; 3/4 in.
Copyright Claimant: Jackie Gleason
Date of Creation: 1953
Date of Publication: 1985-01-29
Authorship on Application: Jackie Gleason Enterprises, Inc., employer for hire.

Other Title: Vacation/Fred's Landing
Names: Hurdle, Jack
Satenstein, Frank
Gleason, Jackie
Jackie Gleason Enterprises, Inc.


Note the date of creation: 1953. The year 1987 (or 1985) would have been too late to renew the copyright on something created in 1953. And the registration number begins with PA, not RE. So this is not a renewal; it is an attempt to copyright in 1987 something that was created in 1953. This is not an episode of the television series named The Honeymooners (which was broadcast in 1955 and 1956); it is a Honeymooners sketch from the television series named The Jackie Gleason Show.

We have already determined that none of the episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show that were broadcast in the 1950s are protected by copyright. Since this is a portion of an episode that is in the public domain, how can it be granted copyright?

These Honeymooners sketches from The Jackie Gleason Show are sold in DVD format by Jackie Gleason Enterprises.

A title screen has been added at the beginning of each story, and a video transition effect has been added between scenes. If these title screens and transition effects are removed, then shouldn't what remains be considered public domain?